What Is an Ethical Question?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 11, 2020 5:24:26 AM ET

An ethical question is a question that looks at a situation or a problem whose solution is not obvious and asks people to choose which solution or solutions can be considered "right" or ethical. Oftentimes people have different ideas about what is ethical or unethical and what is the best solution to an ethical dilemma, according to Saint Clara University.

Many people attempt to understand ethics by looking at their feelings, but this is a dangerous practice because feelings do not make something ethical and in many cases can take someone away from the ethical decision. Ethics is based around the idea that there should be standards of conduct for humans that are based on virtues, benefits to society, obligations, fairness and in terms of what is right. The virtues most called upon in ethics are loyalty, honesty, compassion and empathy. As people age, they develop their own ethical ideals and standards that they adhere to in their personal life.

An ethical question that might be posed is, "Is it considered stealing to take napkins from McDonalds or to take pens from Chase bank?" Some people might believe that it is okay to take these items while others might believe that it is not okay. If it is okay, then how much is okay to take? These are questions that are difficult to answer ethically.